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A Beatdown for Brownback

NPR reports on the Kansas legislature putting Governor Sam Brownback in his place after his failed experiment in governing without money. Turns out, you can’t run government without revenue. The Kansas Supreme Court has already ruled the schools there are woefully underfunded and is requiring the legislature to pony up the funds necessary to properly […]

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Court Rules Against Flawed VAM Model

A Texas court has ruled against the use of value-added modeling in teacher evaluation saying the system used violates due process. Texas now joins New York as states where courts have found value-added systems used for teacher evaluation simply don’t stand up to scrutiny. Here’s more on the Texas case: Judge Stephen Smith of the […]

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Voucher Backers vs. Facts

As Tennessee lawmakers consider voucher bills again this year, it seems alternative facts are ruling the day. That is to say, facts simply don’t matter and are routinely dismissed in the name of achieving a goal that will most certainly be devastating for Tennessee schools and for students. Here are some thoughts from Tennessee Education […]

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State Report Card Earning an “F”

Tennessee is out with plans for a new state report card that will give all schools an A-F designation. So far, early reviews suggest the plan is earning an “F.” From Tennessee Education Report: Ripley High School Principal Joey Hassell has been tweeting this weekend about the state’s move to an A-F grading system for […]

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The Dangers of Outsourcing

From Tennessee Education Report: The repeated issues with Durham School Services raise questions about both the vendor and about outsourcing essential school services generally. An earlier piece noted that the push to outsource bus services may be the result of under-funded schools systems searching for financial answers. Unfortunately, outsourcing bus services may have immediate financial […]

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Riding the Waiver Wave?

From Tennessee Education Report: Now, two large Tennessee school districts are calling for a waiver from using test data in student grades and teacher evaluations. Will other districts follow suit? Will the General Assembly pay attention? READ MORE> For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TheAndySpears

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A Matter of Safety

From Tennessee Education Report: So far, despite attempts by legislators including now-House Speaker Beth Harwell, no seat belt legislation has passed in Tennessee. Instead, the General Assembly spends a fair amount of time helping districts save money by extending the life of buses. Andy Sher in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press reported in 2014:   School districts […]

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Standing for a Waiver

From Tennessee Education Report: Last night, the Knox County School Board voted 6-3 in favor of a resolutioncalling on the General Assembly and State Board of Education to waive the use of TCAP/TNReady data in student grades and teacher evaluations this year. The move comes as the state prepares to administer the tests this year […]

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TN’s Broken School Funding Formula

From Tennessee Education Report: For the past two years, Gov. Haslam has proposed and the General Assembly has adopted education budgets that included four percent increases in state appropriations for the instructional salary component of the BEP. That means Tennessee teachers have received four percent raises in back-to-back years, right? Wrong. Instead, some teachers have […]

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Testing and School Board Races in Tennessee

Last week saw an announcement by the Tennessee Department of Education that testing time for 2016-17 will be reduced. This came on the heels of the selection of a new testing vendor for the state. Also, school board races in Nashville are heating up, with outside spending playing a key role. Oh, and incumbent Amy […]

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